Ask Dr Gayle
September 2016 column
By Dr. Gayle
Q: Why is Donald Trump so popular when he’s such a crazy narcissist?
A: Both his supporters and Bernie Sanders’s are understandably angry at how our government is controlled by lobbyists and the inability of members of Congress to work together for all of us. Trump’s attack on “political correctness” is the alt-right’s term to justify their racism and sexism and that of many uneducated people. Trump appeals to our “Stone Age brain” that responds to fear and anger rather than logic. His main insult is to call his opponents weak or small. His constant use of the macho words strength, strong, tough, and great appeal to people who want a patriarchal father to protect them. Father figures are part of politics, divided into the nurturing father of progressives and the strict father of conservatives, observed George Lakoff. As powerful father, Trump told Michigan voters, “I’ll get you a new job; don’t worry about it.” In his messianic cult leader acceptance speech at the Republican convention in July 2016, he told voters, “I alone can fix it.” Being able to turn it over to daddy apparently appeals to some people who don’t otherwise have hope for their futures.
Q: My brother has terminal cancer. Do you think spirit continues after death?
A: A psychologist wrote Finding Jordan with his son in the spirit world, including how they communicate with automatic writing. Matt McKay’s book gives a concise explanation of how the universe works—that we’re here on this difficult planet to evolve. We continue to grow and create with people we love on other dimensions. For an update, listen to Nancy Wiegman’s interview with the author on NSPR at http://mynspr.org/post/nancys-bookshelf-matt-mckay.
Q: I’m moving into a house where my husband lived with his first wife. How do I make it feel like it’s my house now?
A: Tape up photos of you all in every room for a while. Change the paint colors and fabrics and do energy-clearing exercises such as these. Put sea salt in containers in every room with the intention of absorbing old energy, and then throw it away or use it to define the exterior perimeters of your yard. Stand silently in each room and see what you feel. Go through the house with drums and rattles or beating pots and pans to shake up the energy, and then refine clearing with sage, incense, and lavender water spray. You can change the energy of a room with gemstones in the corner, such as pink quartz for love and black hematite for grounding. More clearing techniques are described in Essential Energy Tools.
Q: My young son is scared of monsters and thinks he sees them.
A: Tell him he’s the boss of his space and command anything scary to go home, as if he is talking to a stray dog. You can give him a powerful flashlight to shine on them; tell him bad guys don’t like the light. Feelings are facts so it’s not effective to tell him they’re not real. I do Mind Power workshops for kids as well as adults.
Q: My boyfriend will change plans we’ve made at the last minute and ignore me when talking with an attractive woman. It’s very irritating. How can I handle this?
A: Talk with him about his need to feel he’s not being controlled, to have freedom from manipulation. Then explain that you may leave when you’re feeling ignored or find someone else to talk with at a social gathering. Also discuss the childhood roots of these emotional patterns that trigger both of your buttons and use this as an opportunity to heal the old wounds. If he’s not willing to compromise and grow and you’ve had enough humiliation, check out The Tao of Dating by Ali Benazir to learn how to find a good partner.
Q: I’m with people all day. How do I keep from being drained at the end of the day?
A: Visualize your energy bubble separate from those of other people. Do BrainGym exercises when you go to the bathroom, such as cross-crawl in which you touch opposite elbow to knee, so you stay balanced. Go for a walk during your lunch break to get grounded. Remind yourself you’re not responsible for solving other people’s problems. When you leave work, imagine separating from it 100 percent and focus on the present.
Q: I’ve never liked my body because it’s always been wider and bigger than those of other women. Any hope for me?
A: Post pictures of 17th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens’s voluptuous nudes to remind yourself that beauty standards are socialized and change through time rather than being based on some “truth.” For example, some African women pay to enlarge their buttocks to fit the local beauty standard and women in the United States also buy devices to make them look bigger.
Q: My husband is still enmeshed with his first wife. I don’t think he knows how to let her go without being manipulated by her. I am fed up with hearing his compassion and empathy for her in a recent health scare when I’m the one who is pregnant. I want to work out my upset before I give birth. How?
A: Look at how you’re repeating the dynamic with your unpredictable and sometimes absentee father and this is an opportunity to go into neutrality. Instead of complaining, which puts him on the defensive, I’d focus on the positive action. Let him know what makes you feel supported and nurtured by him. Suggest specific actions he can take, such as a back rub, talking about your plans for the baby, going out to dinner, and so on.
Q: My husband is an alcoholic. He doesn’t drink at home, but he goes out to drink and I worry about his safety. I know AL-Anon says not to try to rescue alcoholics but I live with him.
A: Remember that alcoholics often suffer from anxiety, irritability, and depression and try to calm down or self-medicate with alcohol. It looks to me as if part of the reason he drinks is to numb his sensitivity. I’d make sure he takes nerve supports such as vitamin B and eats frequently to keep his blood sugar at a healthy level. Visualize him surrounded by a protective shield. Go to AA meetings with him to find the group he likes so he can work with a neutral sponsor or addiction therapist to learn coping tools that work for him.
Q: I freeze up when I try to submit a job application; I’ve had so many rejections. How can I motivate myself to follow through?
A: Dance out an exaggerated fit before you sit down to type, exaggerating your resistance and fear. See what energy psychology works best for you: EFT, TAT, EMDR, and so on, explained in Essential Energy Tools. Aim to send out one application a day followed by a fun reward.